KENYA FARMERS SET TO BENEFIT FROM USE OF HERMETIC STORAGE BAGS
Hellen Irungu, Farm Concern International (FCI) staff giving a Super Grain Bag (GrainPro Hermetic Bag) to Mr. Willy Bett, the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
NAIROBI, KENYA – Farmers were urged to use hermetic storage bags during the National Campaign on Hermetic Storage Technology Road Show. The event, a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, USAID’s Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises (KAVES), and the Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO), promoted hermetic technology use on November 16, 2016. The GrainPro® SuperGrainbag® (SGB) was one of the five hermetic innovations featured at the event.
The SGB is an Ultra Hermetic™ bag liner with extremely low permeability to air and moisture to stop infestation and inhibit the growth of aflatoxin-producing molds. It can safely preserve the quality of grains and seeds for more than a year without using harmful chemicals. The partners claimed that around three million bags could be saved from going to waste once farmers adopt the technology.
In 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that about 30 percent of all food produced in Kenya goes to waste due to poor post harvest handling. “Reduction of post-harvest loss is an important strategy to ensure food and nutritional security and improve farmers’ incomes in a sustainable manner,” said Willy Bett, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture.
Besides preservation, hermetic bags can also help inhibit the growth of aflatoxins which can lead to debilitating diseases when consumed in large quantities, thus benefiting both farmers and consumers. To encourage its wide use, the partners are asking the Kenyan government to remove the 16 percent VAT charged on hermetic bags.